Some few weeks ago, I chanced on this book on the IG page of BookNook.Store. I was immediately dazzled by the beauty if it’s cover. And so I went screaming on books.kitchen about how beautiful the book is and how I wanted to lay my hands on it, clutch it and dig deep into its pages.
Check the post out here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CETU4U-n9YM/?igshid=11bhso8djnkxj
I am sure you are wondering whether I got the book or not…well, I did! And all thanks to Nana Awere Damoah
Now, the burning question is, are the words living so freely on the pages of the book as enchanting as the cover that house them? My answer will be YES. Yes, a bold one. Indeed, as the blurb of the book unapologetically says, “Okornore is a sorceress of words.”
I feel the title is one that is very befitting of the book and the collection of poems and short stories in there. As it is indicated at the very beginning of the book, AYA is an adinkra symbol which means “fern” and is a “symbol of endurance and resourcefulness.”
“The fern is a hardy plant that can grow in difficult places. “An individual who wears this symbol suggests that he has endured many adversities and outlasted much difficulty.”(Willis, The Adinkra Dictionary)
Stories like, “Journey to the West”, “Ala’s daughters” among others bring out the true significance of the title to the book.
The blurb was certainly true when it read,
“Soul! is what screams at you when you journey through page after page of this delicious collection. From the heavenly to the banal, from the questions of our time to the quest of ages, Aya provides a sounding board for what it means to be human.”
As I mentioned early on, this book is a collection of short stories with a blend of poetry here or there. It has five division which sort of categorize the collection therein into themes.
The first part “For The Woman That Is Lost” begins with what I choose to call “an appetiser” because just as an appetiser will do, the short piece that begins the first part stimulates your appetite, making you extra hungry for the actual meal—the poems and stories that follow.
“For the woman that is lost.
She crossed seas to find happiness,
But all she found was pain. It has
changed her. However, in her heart, she knows where home is. She knows where love is. One day she’ll go back for it.”
And that is where you get thrust into the world of AYA reading the first poem “Fall” —a soothing poem about the rain, then the short story “Soul Food” —an uplifting journey with Ajoke, then to the “Tempest” —a piece with a very deep and touching subject matter…then on and on you go.
There will be no time to put the book down. It plunges you into depths of despondency just to find inspiration and courage in the most unanticipated places. You become a bearer of the Aya symbol. Just as its title connotes, you become a symbol of endurance and resourcefulness.
Give it a chance. Get a copy from booknook.store
And hey, one of my favourites in the collection is “Ala’s Daughters.” Ask me why.